"Trujillo sits on top of a solitary hill dominating the lonely plains below. In the town square, under the bell towers topped with stork nests perched on the blue and white tiled roofs, stands a statue of local hero Francisco Pizarro. He was a conquistador who, along with Cortés and other Spaniards, was responsible for conquering the people of the Americas. While the last of the Inca gold was spent building Spanish churches and palaces long ago, every day, in every kitchen across Spain, cooks still use other treasures the conquistadors brought back from the Americas: tomatoes and capsicums, which transformed the way the Spanish cooked and ate. From the home of Pizarro comes this fresh and lightly spiced soup. It is made when tomatoes are at their most bountiful - in other words it's a way of using up really ripe tomatoes."
- 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 large red capsicum, seeds and membrane removed, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 kg ripe tomatoes, blanched, refreshed, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp cumin seeds, dry-roasted and finely ground
- 2 tsp smoked sweet paprika
- 6 eggs
- To serve: toasted bread
- 1Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until soft and translucent (5-7 minutes). Add capsicum and garlic, reduce heat to low-medium, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture has a jam-like consistency (35-40 minutes). Stir in tomato and 700ml water and simmer until mixture has a soupy consistency (20-25 minutes). Add sugar, cumin, 1½ tsp paprika and 2 tsp fine sea salt and combine well. Crack eggs, one at a time, into a cup, then gently slide into the soup around the edges. Cover and simmer gently until cooked to your liking (3 minutes for soft yolks, or 5-6 minutes for well-done). Gently divide eggs and soup among warm bowls. Sprinkle with remaining paprika, serve with toasted bread.
Note This recipe is from MoVida Rustica: Spanish Traditions and Recipes by Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish and published by Murdoch Books ($59.95, hbk) and appeared in the October 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller. In editing these recipes for publication, we have made minor changes to bring them into Gourmet Traveller style.